Will That Microchip Get Your Pet Home?

The lady wants to surrender her dog.  She says she's the owner and the shelter takes the dog.  The shelter scans the dog and finds a microchip and checks it out.  GOOD SHELTER!  The shelter finds out the dog really belongs to a rescue, a rescue that retains ownership when placing dogs in forever homes to ensure that the dog will come back to them if he or she lands in a shelter for any reason.  I get it.  Sometimes rescue puts many dollars and untold hours into a dog.  They are INVESTED in the dog!  And they fell in love with the dog along the way too so they most certainly want that dog coming back if something goes wrong.  The rescue group is contacted and wants the dog back; dot the i's, cross the t's.  GOOD SHELTER!  Next day the dog is euthanized by the shelter without prior notice to the rescue group, let alone consent, and basically for no reason at all.  BAD SHELTER; BAD, BAD SHELTER!!!  I suspect it will turn out to be a "mistake" and I don't give a damn what the excuse is.  Are you outraged?  I damned sure am!

In the wake of something like this, we critter folks start checking tags and chips, call the companies to verify out information is correct in the database.  We know for sure that our beloved pet may be needlessly killed even after we've said, "yes, mine, I'm on the way..." but we want to at least make sure we GET that call so we even sign up and pay for multiple databases to have that information in them.  All we need is their reassurance that the information is there, that it's correct, that we WILL get that call if the shelter reads the chip and contacts them. "What do you mean my chip number isn't in your damned system?"

No, I actually don't know what the reaction of folks is when they are told that the chip number is completely missing from the system/that all your contact info is gone/that anyone calling would be told they had no such number in their database; that the service they paid for would have been utterly useless because the data they were depending on just isn't there at all.  I know that would have been MY response to being told the chip number isn't in the system.  3 dogs and counting.  That's how many dogs would NOT have found their way home because their information just "disappeared" for the databases they should have been in.

CALL THOSE COMPANIES TODAY and make sure your data is in their system and that's it's correct.  Put all their contact info where you can quickly find it.  If your pet goes AWOL, these companies NEED to be your first call to again verify your information is there and will be accessed; you files flagged so they'll know you pet is lost and depending on them for its life to do their freaking jobs.  Microchips don't do a damn bit of good if these companies are keeping reliable databases of information.  And, if you call today and they don't have your information, please share that and which company it was in the comments section so we can see who's doing a decent job and who isn't.

Personally, I'm just plain not a fan of these microchips.  I think they give a false sense of security.  They darned sure do that if the companies aren't maintaining their databases!  However, they come with some other problems.  They can migrate, the can cause lumps/bumps/growths, maybe cancer.  They aren't any kind of "universal" so multiple scanner and scans are needed.  Even in the best of circumstances, I think it questionable how much these chips help.  But, oh, wait because we're now adding insult to injury on this one.

A dog comes into the shelter and has a chip but the data turns out to be dated.  There's no way to find the owner even though the dog was chipped.  Off to rescue goes the dog and they have a chip injected with their data.  Then the dog is adopted out and the forever home has another chip injected because that rescue could go belly up and they adore this new dog.  She's an older girl but she's frisky with  a high prey drive.  Three years go by.  On a walk, she's doing beautifully walking at heel and a cat races across her path.  That's it.  Off she goes and it's not the first time but this time that flexible lead doesn't hold when she hits the end.  She's off into the brush after that cat and there's no way her new but older owner is ever going to catch her.  Now this little girl ends up in a shelter east of Dallas.  A tiny shelter.  They have no scanner at all and she's adopted out again.  Her new owner has yet another chip injected, as required by a new state law for all dogs adopted from public shelters.  This poor girl now has 4 chips; 4 times the risks of problems from having a chip.

If this dog lands in a shelter again (and she's the type that likely might) and if the shelter has a scanner.  Will they scan for all the chips or stop when they get info for the first one?  If the latter, will they scan again if that chip's information isn't any good?  4 times the risk and a 1 in 4 chance they'll read the first chip that we already know is no good and I think they'll stop right then and there.  I'm really thinking they darn sure aren't going to thoroughly scan with more than one scanner!

But the Grand State of Texas will not be happy with just this, it must add some insult to injury.  I f she's adopted from rescue via a shelter, she must be spayed.  She may already be spayed and there are tests that can come close to a definitive answer on whether or not she is but they cost a little and there is NO legal allowance for those.  She must be spayed even if she already has been and despite the risks of surgery and despite the fact it is impossible to do so if she's already spayed; she must be spayed - so sayeth the Texas Legislature.  Surgery is the "definitive" proof that she's "fixed" except that it is no such thing.  As my vet put it when I asked, "things grow back".  Did you know that?  It was sure news to me!  It's rare but it does happen.  So, per the Texas mandate, she's sedated and cut open.  This is major surgery.  The vet discovers she's already spayed, closes her up.  I do indeed wonder if the veterinarian is going to even tell you that.  My guess is not and you'll be charged the full amount for the surgery even though it wasn't what was expected.

And when she lands in that last shelter and goes to that last owner?  She's 3 years old and WE know she's been "fixed" twice now.  She will be put through it all over again; risks and all!  She's 3 years older and that means it is MORE risky but that's the law - so sayeth the idiots at the Texas Legislature who apparently don't know (or care) that she could have been watched for signs of heat for 6 months and then an estrogen blood test would have done just fine for an older dog.  This would have been every bit as "definitive" for an older dog as slicing her open.  Want a little extra insurance and she's the kind who doesn't wriggle too much?  Do an ultrasound.  Wriggling might mean some sedation but perhaps not nearly as much as surgery.

While this is mostly a girl issue for now, with neuticals becoming popular, it will be an all dogs issue soon enough.  But, for now, it's a GIRL issue and it just plain pisses me off that the Texas legislature mandates spay/neuter, no exceptions, no alternatives when it means females may well be put through multiple surgeries and even against medical advice while the same is not nearly as likely for male animals and we all know and understand why.  Once again, the Texas Legislature simply doesn't consider that females have different biology; that they've essentially mandated torture and cruelty which is exactly what multiple unnecessary surgeries are.  This time, they've mandated the torture and cruelty of female dogs.

Couldn't you DICKS in the Texas Legislature have at least stuck to torturing us humans and left our dogs alone?

Go Back